Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases and premature death. The increased health risks associated with physical inactivity may also generate a heavier economic burden to society. We estimated the direct medical costs attributable to physical inactivity among adultsusing data from the 2002–2010 Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort. A total of 68,556 adults whose reported physical activity status did not change during the study period was included for this study. Propensity scores for inactive adults were used to match 23,645 inactive groups with 23,645 active groups who had similar propensity scores. We compared medical expenditures between the two groups using generalized linear models with a gamma distribution and a log link. Direct medical costs were based on the reimbursement records of all medical facilities from 2005 to 2010. The average total medical costs for inactive individuals were $1110.5, which was estimated to be 11.7% higher than the costs for physically active individuals. With respect to specific diseases, the medical costs of inactive people were significantly higher than those of active people, accounting for approximately 8.7% to 25.3% of the excess burden. Physical inactivity is associated with considerable medical care expenditures per capita
among Korean adults.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited